Third grade is such a fun year for reading as kids grow and are able to explore many more books. I have a son in third grade this year and each month he has been tasked with picking a book from a different genre for his book report. Today I’m sharing a list of mystery books for 3rd graders in the hopes that it will help you and your 3rd grader find a book or two.
Clearly there are so many books out there and I’m just going to share a few with you all. We have not read all of these but I compiled a list of ones we like, friends’ recommendations and lists from our local libraries. Please be sure to leave any of your favorites in the comments below!
I shared the lexile numbers as well so that you can tell which books are roughly near your child’s reading level. Also, every family is different and we may not see eye to eye on what is appropriate for a 3rd grader to read.
So, as always, I recommend you read anything before you have your child read it or check something like Common Sense Media to see if you would approve.
Mystery Books for 3rd Graders
Encyclopedia Brown: Boy Detective
Encyclopedia Brown books are a little different in that they are a collection of short stories that are each their own little mystery. You can turn to the back of the book to see the solution to each one and find out if you figured it out. My husband grew up reading these and so it’s fun to see my son enjoying them now. Lexile: 600L
The Hardy Boys: The Tower Treasure
Really any of the Hardy Boys books would be a good mystery. I have not read them all… so again, preview them for yourself. I did read the Tower Treasure and like most of the Hardy Boys books I remember reading it’s a really tame mystery without any gore or anything like that. My son loved it and said he thought other kids would like it as well. Lexile: 740L
Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew: Sleepover Sleuths
I grew up on a steady diet of Nancy Drew and really can you mention the Hardy Boys without Nancy Drew? Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew features a younger version of Nancy Drew for younger readers. Lexile: 520L
Freddy the Detective
I thought Freddy the Detective was such a sweet, classic story. Freddy has read Sherlock Holmes and then has to work to just like Holmes to solve a mystery on the farm. Lexile: 830L
The Great Mouse Detective: Basil of Baker Street
Basil, a mouse detective and his friend Dawson search for a missing set of twins and solve a series of mysteries. There is a cartoon movie version that is fun but it is different from the books. Lexile: 730L
Third Grade Detectives: The Clue of the Left-Handed Envelope
A class of third graders solve simple mysteries with the help of their teacher, a former spy in this series of books. Lexile: 550L
Maisie Hitchins: The Case of the Stolen Sixpence
The Maisie Hitchins series features a 12 year old girl who solves mysteries with her dog Eddie by her side. Lexile: 770L
The Boxcar Children
These are such a classic. Each book in this series deals with a new mystery for the children to solve. Lexile: 580L
Meg Macintosh: The Case of the Missing Babe Ruth Baseball
This is an interesting series where the reader is challenged to solve clues before reading the answer. It’s a fun puzzle for kids. Lexile: 600L
The Wollstonecraft Detective Agency: The Case of the Missing Moonstone
This series is in my library queue right now. In this series Ada Lovelace (one of the world’s first computer programmers) and Mary Shelley (author of Frankenstein) meet as girls and form a detective agency together where they use math, science, and creativity to solve mysteries. Lexile: 840L
Don’t forget to let me know your recommendations in the comments below!